African Transformation Movement (ATM) supporters in Rustenburg. Picture: ANA/Stringer

Johannesburg - African Transformation Movement President Vuyo Zungula has been the latest party leader to criticise the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) application to liquidate Sekunjalo Independent media. 

In a statement on Friday, Zungula slammed the PIC, accusing it of pushing South Africa towards a one-narrative state. 

“The media is a tool used to propagate their agenda. They can’t stand that Independent Media has a different from other media. They can’t handle that Independent Media exposes the things they want hidden. If the PIC liquidates Independent Media, it will be a crime against our democracy,” Zungula said. 

This follows the PIC's application to have publishing company, Sekunjalo Independent Media liquidated. 

The application has been met with widespread condemnation, from ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte calling it ‘senseless’ to APC leader Themba Godi who called the attempts 'a travesty to democracy'. 

The PAC also slammed the PIC application saying the PIC was being used to fight political battles.

Takudzwa Hove, SIM spokesperson, said the PIC’s application was “frivolous”, as it appeared to have intentionally omitted certain factual and legal considerations relevant to the matter. “If it had included it, it would have made its application a nullity,” said Hove.

 "Dr Iqbal Survé has been cited as a party to the proceedings, even though no relief is claimed against him. The PIC’s application smacks of malice and is designed to embarrass the Sekunjalo Group, and Dr Survé,” Hove said.

Last month the PIC’s acting executive head of legal, governance and compliance, Lindiwe Dlamini recently told Parliament that Africa’s largest asset manager was thinking about liquidating Sekunjalo to recover debts owed to it by Sekunjalo Independent Media.

Dlamini made this claim during a question-and-answer session of the Standing Committee on Finance’s proceedings, where one of the committee members raised a question directed at the PIC’s investment in Sekunjalo Independent Media. 

Sekunjalo responded to the PIC by saying Sekunjalo Independent Media and Independent News & Media South Africa, not SIH, entered into agreements with the PIC. 

“The PIC is fully aware of the difference between SIH and SIM, yet, the PIC appears to conveniently conflate SIH with SIM in order to create the appearance that the two are one.” the company said. 

“Having understood in parliament that Sekunjalo Independent Media and Sekunjalo Independent Holdings are two separate companies it is clear that the PIC and others are working towards silencing an alternative narrative. We are not surprised at what they are doing. These people are ruthless. It is clear that they want to advance their agenda. We the people of South Africa will resist this,” Zungula said. 

As ATM, we will attend the Citizens Dialogue in Soweto to show our support to Dr Survé and the staff of Independent media. 

The Citizens dialogue is spearheaded by Themba Godi and Sihle Sibiya of the Insika foundation. 

Political Bureau